Monday, September 10, 2007

Quote of the Day - September 10, 2007

"They were faithful and true to you then; they are no less so today. And yet they ask no special favors as a class; they ask no special protection as a race. They feel that they purchased their inheritance, when upon the battlefields of this country, they watered the tree of liberty with the precious blood that flowed from their loyal veins. They ask no favours, they desire; and must have; an equal chance in the race of life."

- John R. Lynch, former slave and member of the U.S. Congress, speaking in support of the Civil Rights Act of 1875

John R. Lynch was born a slave on September 10, 1847 in Concordia Parish, Louisiana. His father was an immigrant from Ireland and his mother was a slave. He remained in slavery until freed by Union forces in 1863 during the Civil War. Self-educated by secretly eavesdropping on class lessons at a white school, Lynch learned the photography trade, became a Justice of the Peace, and then was elected to the Mississippi legislature when he was only 26 years old. He will subsequently be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1873. His greatest effort was in the long debate in support of the Civil Rights Act of 1875 that banned discrimination in public accommodations. Although, the law was found to be unconstitutional, parts of the act were incorporated into the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (some 90 years later) and the Fair Housing Act.

plez sez: it remains a mystery to me why so much of the rich history of America is relegated to the far reaches of our collective memories. to many, the Civil Rights Movement began in 1963, with King's "I Have a Dream Speech" and ended in 1968 with his assassination. who would know that the quest for freedom and true equality stretches back to the last shots of the Civil War, and the voices for equality from long ago echo to this day?

the history of Black people in America IS the history of America! John R. Lynch was born 160 years ago today.

"If ya don't know, now ya know...!" - The Notorious B.I.G.


David Sullivan said...

People of African decent have been here in America way before my direct ancestors showed up, by, at least, 250 years.

When John R. Lynch was fighting for equality here my family was being starved out of their homes in Ireland by the English.

CapCity said...

Uh, Bro Plez...maybe u've got too much football & nachos in ya, but the struggle for freedom stretches WAAAAYYYYYYY back before the Civil War, hun. From the Middle passage there were struggles & battles - some were not "news worthy" - but don't EVER believe those tales of the happy slave. I'm sure the struggle for freedom goes back even further - but u know what i mean.

PLEASE check out the works of My Favorite living author Ms. Beverly Jenkins. Unfortunately, she's pigeon holed as a romance author. But, TRUST ME! I have learned more Black History from her books than I ever imagined AND she gives sources at the end of her stories. Her characters are based on Historical figures in a sense. You & your wife may also have a blast reenacting some of her scenes! Ms. Bev offers the BEST of Both worlds - History & Romance!

plez... said...

everyone has a story. i appreciate you for sharing yours.

thanks for the re-education of plezWorld... i'll take a look at your suggestions.

Lola Gets said...

No, Plez, you got it wrong: Blacks were slaves, and THEN the Civil Rights Movement came along. Other than that, we have no history, lol. Thats what Ive always hated aboutmodern education and Black History Month; oftimes they dont provide us of examples of Black life outside of those two periods.

PS - I already knew about Lynch, as he was included in my MA thesis, lol. But heres somthing you might not have known - it wasnt Martin Luther King Juniors March on Washington, it was BAYARD RUSTIN'S March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom! Most folks dont know that either.


plez... said...


THANKS for the re-education! *smile*